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Updates from Superintendent Woelber

January 27, 2020


Greetings from Fulda School,


What a wonderful break from the frigid temps!  This weather has been a wonderful way to end January!  Let’s hope it holds for a while in February and helps everyone with the winter doldrums.

            “Sticker shock” and “holy crap” and “are you kidding me” and “goodness sakes” are just a few of the phrases that went through my mind when we dug deeper into getting new boilers in the high school to replace the original 1956 units.  Before “digging” into it the estimate was $425,000.  After checking the condition of the pipes, finding asbestos and adding the steam to hot water conversion the updated estimate is closer to $850,000!  YIKES!  I guess it’s not much different than any family being excited about finally saving enough for a new bathroom in the house and the $2500 project turned into $7,000! 

The problem that I am having is that I enjoy my 1988 Ford F250 diesel and I frequent the Feed Shak with my 1989 Suzuki Sidekick for my feed pilgrimage.  They run well so why replace them?  We have a few die-hard farmers running Pre 1980 tractors and they make it work.  These 1957 boilers might last a few more years right??.....  I guess I need to think about a John Deere 8630 then for $53,000 vs. a new 4WD model for $440,000 40 years later.

Needless to say, we are continuing to explore our options as we look to summer.  I want the stone cleaned at the elementary.  I want the windows replaced on the 3 story section of elementary and then painted.  That will all be under $90,000.  BUT we must also make a decision on how fast to move on the high school boilers while being mindful that we also have a whole lot of roofing to keep up on. 

I don’t think there is any need to panic.  These projects have been lying there for years and it’s time to tackle them.  The good news is that we are FULDA proud and K-6 enrollment is 50 students more than our 7-12 enrollment!  We have a board that is active in putting kids first and we are proud of the way we are building our employee team!  I/we will visit with our school finance folks as well as our boiler folks to continue moving the ball forward. 

I have been happy with our home crowds this winter and it’s great to see the communities of Fulda / HLO working so well together.  This community rules in terms of meals and getting folks out and about!  We are winning games and the kids are enjoying the benefits of good numbers.  Our wrestling team is on the rise and it won’t be long and the leadership of our current high school wrestlers will pay off for the younger tykes.  The Fulda kids preschool - 12th are really enjoyable to be around.  I do admit that we, along with every school in the nation have kids that are living in some pretty traumatic situations with drugs in the home, abuse and no strong parental figure. Kids from these circumstances are going to blow up once in a while and have no one else to turn to except folks at the school that show the caring and patience they deserve.  Most all of you will hear of some dingaling doing something dumb or fighting authority or flying off the handle.  In some respects that has been going on for decades except nowadays there are a few differences in the reaction of parents as well as social media stirring issues up.  I am very thankful for the great folks that we have working in Fulda!

Chin up folks, have a great rest of winter and lets hope for a mild rest of winter!